LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is recommending more people carry the overdose antidote naloxone.
The nation's chief doctor said he is committed to increasing access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone and bringing down the cost of the drug.
Speaking at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta on Thursday morning, Adams called on more Americans to carry naloxone, which is available over the counter in most states.
In Kentucky, Dr. Robert Couch has pushed to expand access to naloxone. The medical director of Norton Audubon Hospital's emergency department said, in this case, the average person can intervene before doctors and first responders can
"It's so very important for naloxone to be in the hands of not only first responders, like EMS, fire and police who can give it at the scene, but it really should be in the hands of anyone who is at risk of an opioid overdose," Couch said. "Naloxone is just as effective if it's given internally, something laypeople and first responders can do."
Adams said 95 percent of all insured Americans are covered to purchase naloxone, which can cost around $80 for one dose. For those who are uninsured, he said the antidote is available at little or no cost through local public health programs. He also wants more federal funds dedicated to increasing naloxone access.
Adams said it has been 13 years since a surgeon general last issued a public health advisory. The last one focused on prenatal alcohol exposure.
Residents in Kentucky and Indiana can request naloxone from a pharmacy without a prescription.
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